Here come the chief everything officers

These are the days of doing more with less. Companies are increasingly asking their CIOs to assume additional responsibilities. James D. Nikolai, CIO of Jefferies & Co., was recently appointed as chief administrative officer. Nikolai will still spearhead technology initiatives at the New York City-based investment bank (where Jeff Bezos worked before starting Now he will also lead the company’s clearing, execution and securities lending businesses.

Harmon AutoGlass in Minneapolis has also hired a double-duty CIO. Robert Bishop was recently brought on board to fill both the CIO and CFO positions.

Timothy Wright continues to wear both the CIO and CTO hats; he moved from Waltham, Mass.-based Terra Lycos to Geac Computer in Markham, Ontario, in January. Somehow, he also had time to pen the Jan. 15, 2003, Peer to Peer column for CIO titled “Changing Horses in Midstream.” Sounds prescient.

We can only hope that wearing two hats entitles these three hard-working gents to earn twice as much.

Companies that aren’t piling extra work on their CIOs are instead shuffling the decks within their IT leadership in an effort to lower costs. At New York City-based insurance giant MetLife, three IT executives in its operations and technology unit have taken on new roles. Peggy Fechtmann, who previously served as CIO for corporate systems, is now senior vice president in charge of individual business operations. Georgette Piligian, who had been leading e-business efforts within the company’s institutional IT organization, replaces Fechtmann. Those two assumed their new roles last November. Then last December, Larry Blakeman moved from vice president of client relations to CIO of MetLife’s Auto & Home division.

Amidst the continued economic doom and gloom, hard work still pays off. Steve Caron, director of IT at Memphis, Tenn.-based property management company ResortQuest International, has been promoted to senior vice president and CIO. Tower Records, the Sacramento, Calif.-based music retailer, bumped its CIO Bill Baumann up to senior vice president of technology and supply chain.